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Taylor Swift poses backstage with her awards at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday in Las Vegas. APs
Taylor Swift poses backstage with her awards at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday in Las Vegas. APs

ADFF names SANAD Fund recipients

Plus: Phoenix continue to rise with 5th album; Hollywood movers set for Dubai summit.

ADFF names SANAD Fund recipients

The recipients of the first cycle of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival's SANAD Fund for 2012 were announced at this week's Cannes Film Festival. Out of 112 applications, 16 projects have been chosen to receive a total of US$500,000 (Dh1.84m) in grants. The projects include productions from the UAE, Iraq, Qatar, Morocco, Tunisia, Eqypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria, as well as co-productions from France, Germany and the UK. Five of the projects are documentary films. One of the latest projects to benefit from a SANAD grant, My Sweet Pepper Land by director Hiner Saleem, is featured in the Un Certain Regard section of this year's Cannes Film Festival. Submissions for the second and final cycle of SANAD fund grants can be made between June 1 and July 1. For the full list of recipients, visit www.adff.ae/sanadfund. - The National staff


With 5th album, Phoenix continue to rise

Phoenix's frontman Thomas Mars says their new album Bankrupt! was born out of the negative influences going on in the band after the unprecedented success of their Grammy-winning 2009 album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. "At that time, we started talking about success and not music," Mars said. "I guess it was time to protect ourselves and focus on music again." The band said it took some time to get on track when they began writing songs for the new album. Ironing out things worked for the French-based band: Bankrupt! debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 albums chart this month. "We're lucky that we didn't have a hit single for a while, so when we play live, people are not expecting just one song and we don't tour as a greatest hits band, which can be sad I'm sure," said Mars, who is married to Sofia Coppola. - AP


Baldwin premieres spoof documentary

Last Tango in Tikrit is surely a contender for the world's most bizarre film title. In fact the title is as bogus as the storyline, about two foreign journalists who fall head over heels on each other against the backdrop of war-torn Iraq. The fake film was devised by Alec Baldwin and James Toback, who pitched the "concept" to would-be movie financiers at last year's Cannes Film Festival. This year, they are presenting a documentary of their wheeze. Interspersed with interviews with Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Ryan Gosling and other entertainment figures, it is a witty insiders' view that says the bean-counters and lowbrows are wrecking the art of moviemaking. - AP

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